David Newman Speaks about Information Products – Free Audio

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In December, I had lunch with David Newman and grilled him (no pun intended!) about creating information products.

Lots of great strategy ideas and tips!

You can listen to the interview in MP3 format here:

Karyn Greenstreet interviews David Newman about Information Products (MP3)

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Category: Business Strategy & Planning, Podcasts, Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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Taking an Entire Month to Create Products

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Like you, I struggle with finding time to write books, create new classes, and put together new information products. I have a burning desire to create these things; I think about them and plan for them constantly. I guess it must be the “teacher” in me — I want to share what I’ve learned with other self-employed people.

Each year our mastermind group meets in person for a live Mastermind Retreat Weekend. In May, I came to the Retreat with just one burning question: how can I take a month off of work, to write an updated version of a book and create a new class?

It seems an insurmountable dream and challenge. I hadn’t had a full month off work or school since I’d been in college (oh so many years ago!). A whole month off with only 2 projects to work on? Woohoo!

My mastermind group helped me to plan out a strategy for taking the month of August away from my business:

1. Figure out how much money you need to save so that you can cover your August business and personal expenses.

2. Figure out if you’d still work with existing coaching clients, or ask them to halt work with you in August. I decided that I would work with existing clients, but not take on any new ones for August.

3. Figure out how to schedule your month off for maximum enjoyment and relaxation, AND maximum production. After all, I was taking the month off to get 2 big projects finished. I decided to work with clients 3 mornings a week and work on projects the rest of the time. I’d take Friday’s off work completely so that I’d have a month of 3-day weekends; plus a 4-day weekend for Labor Day. I’d schedule time with family and friends during August for outings and visits, as well as some “me time” to walk in the woods or go to the beach and be in solitude.

4. Ask for support. I told my husband and my mastermind group I was going to take the month of August off; they loved the idea! I’ve also told my clients that my hours would be limited in August, that I’d still be there to support them but that they might not get 24-hour turnaround to emails or phone calls. And now I’m telling the world!

5. Stay present. This will be the tough one for me, staying present and aware during the month of August, paying attention to how I’m using my time, and if I’m creating the balance between work and relaxation that I’m seeking.

I’ll let you know how it goes! It’s going to be a great adventure and I’m looking forward to my month off with much anticipation.

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Are Ebooks and Downloadable MP3s a Good Strategy for Information Product Marketing?

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The other day I bought an e-book (a book in PDF format) for $28. It’s a great book full of the information I was seeking. I could tell that the author really put a lot of thought and research into the writing of the book. I was so impressed, I told a friend about the e-book. He said, “Why don’t you email it to me?”

According to a study conducted by Digital Life America, “Only 40% believe downloading copyrighted movies off the Internet [without paying for them] is a ‘very serious offense’ – compared to the 78% who believe taking a DVD from a store without paying is a ‘very serious offense’.”

Somehow we’ve begun to believe that stealing a physical product is wrong, but downloading or sharing an electronic file without paying is okay.

People’s reasoning usually goes something like this: “The person who created the book/DVD/CD didn’t lose out on anything because the file didn’t cost them anything to produce and package.” People understand that printing a book, or duplicating and packaging CDs and DVDs cost money, but have the idea that making an electronic file doesn’t cost the author anything.

Let me tell you about my wholly-biased point of view: I just spent 20 hours editing a five-hour audio program on Internet Marketing, and another 12 hours writing the student guide that will accompany it. But that’s not all. It took me over 20 hours to design the class, 5 hours to teach and record the class, and another 8 hours to prep for each class session and help the students with their homework assignments. I have no idea how long it took me to research all the material for the class, as I’ve been studying the topic for over 10 years now. At a minimum, it took me 65 hours to create this audio product.

I typically charge $165 per hour for my coaching and consulting time. Since I had to spend 65 hours of my time to create the audio program, that $10,725 in billable consulting time that I could not give to my clients.

My mastermind group and I have been debating the pros and cons of selling this audio program as a downloadable file versus creating a physical product (5 CDs plus a 56-page printed book):

  • The cost to duplicate the CDs, print the book, package the set, and ship them out to customers is quite high per set.
  • Some people seem to enjoy being able to have instant access to self-study material they purchase on the Internet (though, according to MarketingSherpa, a surprising number of people never do open or read e-books they purchase).
  • Taking the risk of someone purchasing my downloadable MP3 audio and PDF book, then sharing those files with others, creates the possibility of my losing an extreme amount of money.

Lest you think I’m paranoid, let me offer you this statistic from my own website:

In 2006, I offered a free e-book and audio to people, but only if they registered for it. Over 700 people registered for it. But the files were downloaded a whopping 3,682 times. This is only for the number of people who went to my site to download the files; there’s no telling how many people emailed the files to their friends as an attachment.

Eventually I took the free offer off my site, completely disheartened and disillusioned by the number of people who would happily give the direct file-downloading URL to a friend, instead of the URL asking them to register.

Now I’m trying to decide whether to make my upcoming products downloadable, or go the physical products route. I’d love to know which one you’d prefer and what your thoughts are on file sharing.

What’s your opinion? I want to hear your thoughts! Take my survey here:


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Category: Running a Strong & Efficient Business
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